By James Spillane, Rakeback.com Staff Writer
In a controversial move, the PartyPoker network has decided to stop offering high stakes No Limit Hold'em, Fixed Limit Hold'em, and Pot Limit Omaha cash games.
Earlier today all tables $10/$20 and higher began to stop allowing players to sit down, then disappeared from the lobby completely.
LHE was removed above $30/$60.
An official statement is yet to be made, but several players have had support confirm via email and live chat that $10/$20+ tables will be no more. The Palladium VIP team commented [sic]:
"This is absolutely true - we have removed some of our super high stake games, this decision has been taken to make improvements to our poker ecology and in our players best interests. We will still offer high stake games at NL1000 PLO1000 and FL 6000. Our new highest NL cash games stakes would be $5/10.".
This comes as shocking news to $10/$20 - $25/$50 regs, who consider $5/$10 midstakes. Limit Hold'em being capped at $30/$60 limits will also affect many professional players. Previously LHE stakes ran up to $250/$500.
Achieving Palladium Elite VIP status and a 50% rakeback equivalent will be much more of a challenge.
Eliminating high stakes for reasons of 'ecology' likely refers to Party wanting to keep recreational players from going broke for longer. The logic being that players should generate more rake at lower stakes before busting.
However, many recreational players and regulars will simply seek action on other sites, and PartyPoker - currently the second largest (tied with iPoker) network in the industry behind PokerStars - could see a loss of both traffic and revenue.
PartyPoker may be of the opinion that HSNL only really ever runs with a fish at a table, and is overly predatory. Tables with five regs sat out are not an uncommon sight, and that can be detrimental to poker's image. Players had already suggested simple software tweaks such as a 'Sit Out One, Sit Out All' solution recently on the forums. The complete removal of high stakes was never expected.
It remains to be seen what effects - positive or negative - PartyPoker's decision will have on the site as a whole. Rakeback.com will have more on this story as it develops.
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